While globalization has many benefits, its drawbacks can also be considerable. People across the globe today generally enjoy a far higher standard of living, on average, than at any point in history. And this has largely been due to the increasing availability of cheap, high-quality consumer goods that are the product of globalized markets and infrastructure.
But the world’s industry becoming a nearly continuous network of highly interdependent nodes has also had some consequences that could be described as negative. One of those is the simple fact that the scale of any global operation will, by definition, be large. And large-scale businesses require large-scale capital. This is to say, a company that doesn’t have access to serious capital stands virtually no chance of becoming a global competitor in any industry today.
Luke Lazarus helps startups get the capital they need to thrive
Not every business is potentially global in nature. In fact, the large majority of new startups are either non-global or are models that could be applied at either the local, regional or global level with equal plausibility. An example of the latter would be a restaurant, which could be a one- or two-location business, a regional concern or an international chain.
However, for businesses that seek to compete in sectors that are global by nature, such as software as a service, clothing brands or app development, the ability of entrepreneurs to secure capital has become far more than a luxury: It is the barest necessity for survival.
This is where Luke Lazarus comes in. Luke Lazarus is a business consultant based in Melbourne, Australia. He has personally founded, grown and sold five companies, netting him tens of millions of dollars over his career. At the age of 35, Lazarus decided to step back from the role of entrepreneur in order to share his hard-won knowledge and skills with up-and-coming startup talent.
Luke Lazarus bases his approach on helping entrepreneurs create well-rounded enterprises that have what it takes to impress investors, particularly venture capitalists. Venture capital represents the early-phase investments that are often the riskiest to undertake. However, Lazarus says that venture capitalists and angel investors, while generally willing to take on huge risks that other investors shun, are far from freewheeling gamblers. On the contrary, Lazarus says that venture capital includes some of the most astute and skilled investors in the world.
And this is where so many entrepreneurs run into trouble. Many startup owners believe that securing a ten-million-dollar funding series is just a matter of putting together a slick presentation with a few Power Points, writing a speech packed with buzzwords and buying a ticket to New York, Los Angeles or London. But Lazarus says that the business itself has to reflect what venture capitalists know is likely to work. He also has a proven track record of creating branding and messaging that attracts not only customers but also long-term investors and partners in the growth of the business.
This latter point, creating a cool factor or a deep identification with the product or service, is a big part of Lazarus’ approach. The other major part of his approach involves nuts-and-bolts improvements. Lazarus helps his clients hit real business milestones that will not only give their businesses a better long-term shot at success but that will also impress investors.
The IPO Model
Almost all of the projects that Lazarus takes on have one thing in common: The end goal is an IPO or acquisition.
This means that the ultimate goal is to create a business with the highest sale value. While securing venture capital is just a step on this road, it is an absolutely crucial one. Without access to major funding, growth in today’s global market is difficult or impossible for any company larger than a local business. If a business can’t secure that ten-million-dollar funding round, their competitors will. And at that point, they will be at an almost certainly fatal competitive disadvantage.
Lazarus helps his clients get that funding by doing what works on a roadshow. He knows the world of venture capital inside and out, having secured countless rounds of financing for his own businesses and those of his clients. Through the use of powerful brand messaging and shaping his clients’ businesses into companies with rock-solid fundamentals, he is able to give his clients the edge they need when they walk into a Wall Street conference room to pitch their companies.
Lazarus helps his clients find ways to connect with both customers and other stakeholders at the most visceral, emotional level. He emphasizes products and services not as being mere quotidian solutions to common problems but as transformative things that imbue lives with deep purpose and meaning.
At the same time, he focuses strongly on creating revenue growth, the one thing that early-phase investors, IPO buyers and corporations that are looking to make acquisitions all love to see. Lazarus is fond of pointing out the truth that one must have money in order to make money. Nowhere is the truth of that statement more incisive than in the world of startups, where skillfully deployed venture capital can foment exactly the kind of revenue growth that can lead to multi-billion-dollar IPOs.
Ultimately, it is Lazarus’ own expertise in the world of high finance as well as his marketing and accounting savvy that make his services so valuable. He points out that nearly all entrepreneurs are highly talented people who have developed tremendous abilities across a wide range of activities. However, without the specific skillsets and knowledge that are required to navigate the often-complex world of high finance, all is for naught.
With no end in sight to zero- or negative-interest-rate policies around the world, it is all but assured that investors will continue scouring the globe in search of high-yielding investment opportunities. That is the current state of the game. Those who wish to grow a business with a global market must play that game or be devoured by their competitors that do. Luke Lazarus helps them to not only play but to win.